One of the Most Beautiful Historic Villages of Portugal - Sortelha
Between legends and walls, Sortelha is one of the best preserved villages in the country, and an ex-libris of the beauty of Beira Interior. Visiting this place is synonymous with a unique journey into the past.
Located in the municipality of Sabugal, in the district of Guarda, Sortelha is one of the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal. It is also one of the most beautiful and well preserved. This is because its urban and architectural structure remains unchanged to this day. And that's a long time, since the village has about 800 years of existence.
Full of rural granite houses, Sortelha is crowned by a castle built on a rocky hill over 700 meters. From its top, you can see the surrounding mountains, in an enchanting landscape, worthy of kings and queens.
One of the biggest festivities of this fantastic village is the Medieval Fair “Muralhas com História”, which, over the years, has received more and more visitors and is known as one of the most beautiful medieval fairs in the country.
Be sure to visit while there…
❖ The Castle and it’s walls
Before starting this journey through time there is something you need to know…Leave your car outside the walls!!!… However, don't worry, the village's charms are many, but the size is not so.
After crossing the Porta da Vila, you will quickly find the castle of Sortelha. But before that, take your time to appreciate the stone houses and walls.
❖ Igreja Matriz and the Bell Tower
Within the walls is the Igreja Matriz. Despite having undergone several changes over time, the church managed to remain standing.
Nearby, you'll find the Bell Tower, accessible by a stone path and stairs carved into the rock.
❖ Municipal Town Hall / Jail and Pillory
The historic village of Sortelha was the county seat until the 19th century and the building of the former “Casa da Câmara” is proof of that. This building was later used as a local jail. Right next to it, you'll find the pillory.
The Legend of the Eternal Kiss…
Any self-respecting ancestral village has its myths and legends. And Sortelha is no exception. Due to the rugged terrain, if there is one thing that is not lacking, they are peculiar granite formations. The "Eternal Kiss Stones" are one of the best known and represent the “forbidden love”
Legend has it that a maiden, daughter of the local governor, fell in love with a young Moor. At the height of the reconquest of the Beiras from the Saracens, such a love was destined for drama. It is said that the maiden's mother followed her and watched the lovers kiss, having cast a curse on them.
The two beloved ones will have turned to stone, and today they welcome visitors to Sortelha, on top of their boulders.
For all this and much more, visiting Sortelha is synonymous with contemplating the medieval splendor, lulled by the bucolic nature of Beira.
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